Whether you’re looking to improve your digestion or boost your immune system, your gut health plays a key role. While there are many factors that contribute to proper gut function, the foods you eat likely have the biggest impact. Here you’ll find some superfoods for gut health that you can incorporate into your diet to help boost digestion, energy levels, and regularity!
It’s important to first understand that these foods are not meant to cure any gut illness. If you are experiencing major gut dysfunction that requires medical treatment, some of these foods may actually not help you feel better. It’s important to first address any dysfunction or inflammation before adding in some of the heavy hitters on this list.
The purpose of superfoods is to maintain and restore good gut bacteria
This savory treat is one of nature’s superfoods that has been used for centuries to heal, nourish, and fuel the body. Bone broth contains essential minerals, as well as collagen which is a vital connective tissue. It can be soothing for illness or upset stomachs, and can be sipped on throughout the day every day. Here is a simple recipe for bone broth you can make at home!
Collagen can also be added in powder form to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, and more if bone broth isn’t appealing.
Okay, hear me out. Okra is a classic staple in a southern US diet, and for great reason. The slimy inside is great for soothing the digestive tract and can be a great source of fiber to support a healthy gut. You can cook okra in stews or soups, roast it with other veggies, or pickle it in some vinegar. If you do decide to fry it like a true Southern staple, choose a heart-healthy oil like avocado oil.
Prebiotic fibers are foods that feed the good bacteria in your gut. They also help to produce Short Chain Fatty Acids, which support the integrity of the digestive tract. Incorporating these foods can be supportive even if you have some digestive issues, but I’d still recommend taking it slow when incorporating them into your diet.
Some examples of prebiotics are Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes), garlic, onion, apples, asparagus, flax seeds, chia seeds, and jicama.
Probiotics are foods that promote the diversity of bacteria in the gut. There are supplements you can take for probiotics, however, while they may be more convenient in the short term, they may provide less benefit than eating probiotic foods because of the way they are absorbed and digested in the gut.
Probiotic foods are typically fermented and include sauerkraut, yogurt, fermented pickles, kefir, kombucha (watch out for excess added sugars), and kimchi.
Interested in making some homemade yogurt, but can’t digest dairy products? Check out this recipe on how to make your own probiotic coconut yogurt.